[texhax] detect characters in strings

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Jul 9 01:40:01 CEST 2010

On 7 July 2010 Brandon Kuczenski wrote:

 > Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
 > > On 7 July 2010 Brandon Kuczenski wrote:
 > > 
 > >  > At least my urgent problem is solved-- the numbers that happen to
 > >  > come up in scientific notation are all very small and I'm now
 > >  > replacing them with zero for the time being.  [...]
 > > 
 > > Somehow it all sounds like patchwork.  Doing arithmetic in TeX is
 > > extremely painful.
 > > 
 > > Please consider LuaTeX.  Then you don't need a macro package in order
 > > to find out whether your number contains the letter "e", LuaTeX
 > > supports scientific notation natively.  No need to replace small
 > > numbers with zero.
 > > 
 > > Regards,
 > >   Reinhard
 > > 
 > Thanks for the tip.  I'm not at all familiar with LuaTeX.  can you
 > point me towards some documentation that would assist a LaTeXer
 > with printing scientific data from some delimited input file?  I
 > would love native scientific notation support.  Yes, fp.sty does
 > feel a bit like a colossal hack.  but a very impressive one.

If you're using TeX Live, run:

   texdoc luatex

MikTeX provides a similar tool called mt-help but I don't know whether
it finds the same file.  The name of the file is "luatexref-t.pdf".

 > Speaking of "painful" "patchwork," try accomplishing anything
 > remotely robust in MS Excel!  I don't know how it became the
 > dominant computational tool, but it is like swimming through mud.
 > copy-this, paste-that, right-click, preferences dialog, edit
 > preferences; copy-this, paste-that...

IMO programs like Matlab or GNU Octave are much more straightforward
than spreadsheets but no Excel user is aware of them.

 > Douglas Adams must have been thinking about Microsoft office when
 > he wrote (of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation), "It is very easy
 > to be blinded to the essential uselessness of [their products] by
 > the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all.
 > In other words---and this is the rock solid principle on which the
 > whole of the Corporation's Galaxy-wide success is founded---their
 > fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial
 > design flaws."

Interesting, especially because the Hitchhiker's Guide is older than
Microsoft Office, even older than MS-DoS.  But it's a matter of fact
that Microsoft stole many concepts from other systems (but didn't
understand them).  Seems that Gates was inspired by Adams.  


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

More information about the texhax mailing list